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Disability ART Program in Miami

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ART Program for the DisabledA few months ago we had our 2nd annual ART exhibition “Colours Erupted”. Twenty disabled artists displayed their work at the MAC center in Coral Gables, Florida. It was held to support the ART program and I sold all my pieces! We even had a mosaic composed of  individual pieces by the artists. I also sold all of the pieces on it! All my family and friends came to support me.

The picture on the left was taken at the ART show. It’s of me (in the wheelchair), my A.R.T. Disabilities Program Eventworking dog Fred, my mom and dad (on the left), Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff (in the center), Congress Woman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (second from right) and Ella Cisneros of the Cisneros Fontenals Foundation (on the right). Over 500 people showed up to support the children with disabilities.

For those of you don’t know what A.R.T. is, it’s a program for children with Ilana Painting in A.R.T. Disabilities Programdisabilities who can’t paint with their hands. They instead use a tracker (a person who is like their body) to help them. We choose everything from the size of the canvas to the brush or tool, and guide them with our words and a laser. We even choose the color of the paint.

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Imagine not being able to physically act upon what your mind tells you to do. Not being able to physically pick a color from a palette, pick up a brush to paint a straight line. The artist inside you knowing exactly what it wants to express and convey. In a world of endless options, imagine not being able to do even the “simple stuff” with your own hands.

And then… Imagine being able to create! A new language to communicate with the world, colors, textures and feelings ART Exhibit - The Mosaicsoaring on canvas and reaching places within, that others have never been able to know. The results are stunning pieces for the world to admire, appreciate, and finally, to understand what the inner artist always visualized. This is what CCT-ART enables.

You can see more on this program, and me at work by viewing Miami’s CBS Channel 4 News report. Click on the link below and check out the video.

A Stroke Of Artistic Genius For Special Children

More About the ART Program:

Creative Children Therapy’s ART program began in 2005 when studio facilitators trained with A.R.T. (Artistic Realization Technologies) founder, artist Tim Lefens. The key to this program lies in the power of Art. Carefully trained studio facilitators (“trackers”) act as neutral arms, executing the visions of the physically challenged through laser-guided tracking, a regimented line of questions, and other exacting technologies. The artists indicate their choices about what tools, material and textures to use, and the placement of these on the canvas. The most subtle movements such as a blink or a nod that the tracker can read is all that is required. The possibilities are endless. The trackers’ job is to follow the artist’s directions with absolute fidelity. This enabling system gives creative self-expression to youth with the most severe physical challenges.

Artists typically work once weekly, free of charge, with a tracker at the CCT studio. Once per month, artists congregate Chistian and His Dad Alex at ART Programto work with professional artists critiquing pieces, interacting and questioning, gaining knowledge and refining their craftsmanship. The artwork produced is mainstreamed and exhibited alongside the work of other community artists. Pieces are not admired for the artist’s disability, but rather for the quality and depth of their work. Many are spectacular museum quality pieces. CCT-ART increases self-esteem and empowers the spirit. It provides a method of financial gain for the artists who exhibit and sell their work. The power of ART is unleashed and these lives are enriched.

Creative Children Therapy (CCT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of children and young adults with special needs by providing top-notch therapeutic intervention. In addition to medically necessary services, CCT’s prime directive is to provide innovative programs that will help these kids explore new interests, expand their creative minds, and develop socially and artistically into well-rounded individuals. The outcome is increased confidence to pursue interests, and explore the talents available to most children and adults in the community.

If you or your business is interested in this exciting and rewarding opportunity to propel this breakthrough program in South Florida, CCT-ART can utilize a wide variety of help. This includes financial contributions to assist with tracker employment, space rental, framing the artwork, funding for art supplies, and exhibition venues. For more information about CCT-ART, please contact me.

One Comment

  1. wackycookies wrote:

    What a brilliant way to improve the quality of life for chidren with disabilities.

    I believe that stimulating the creative process in a human being is the highest form of service to humanity..

    These kids are not only brilliant, but they inspire me beyond words.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 9:20 am | Permalink

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